Alternative legal services are growing faster than predicted

by Steve Randall30 Jan 2019

Alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) are gaining ground faster than they were expected to according to a new report.

As the ALSPs expand their footprints, the provision of alternative legal services has grown to a market worth more than U$10 billion, says the report from Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, The Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law, Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and Acritas.

Among corporate legal departments, 74% say they are using ALSPs for at least one category; particularly for services such as litigation and investigative support, document review, and even specialized and high-value services such as legal research. This is an increase from 60% two years ago.

But in-house legal departments are not necessarily the largest users of these services; 87% of large law firms surveyed say they are using ALSPs in at least one service category along with 81% of midsize firms and 57% of small firms.

Law firms say using ALSPs can help them scale their business, differentiate their services, and retain client relationships. Many corporates are using ALSPs through law firms as well as directly.

The most common uses of ALSPs for law firms are e-discovery, litigation and investigation support, and legal research.

The report also shows the rise of the Big Four with 23% of large law firms saying they have had a client use one of the Big Four for work that the law firm had expected to win.

“The 2019 report captures the expanding influence of ALSPs on the global legal ecosystem,” said Eric Laughlin, managing director of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services. “It’s not surprising to see adoption of ALSPs by both legal departments and law firms growing at a pace that has exceeded expectations. Their combination of specialized expertise, unique delivery models and use of cutting-edge technologies is rapidly disrupting the space.”

Corrs expands IP practice with pre-eminent specialist
Grant Fisher has joined the IP practice of Corrs Chambers Westgarth as a Melbourne-based partner.

Fisher is regarded as one of Australia’s most accomplished IP specialists particularly in pharma patent litigation.

His practice focuses on patent litigation covering innovation and technology in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, mining, computer-related inventions and mechanical devices.

“Grant is a strong addition to our partnership. He is a leader in his field and is highly respected by clients for his ability to provide top quality legal advice and exceptional client service,” Corrs CEO Gavin MacLaren.

NZ barrister urges other lawyers to help the homeless
A barrister is behind a new homeless shelter being built in Auckland in time for winter.

The NZ Law Society says that Jo Wickliffe has formed a trust along with other high profile advocates for New Zealand’s homeless including Judge Grant Fraser and Michael Kidd (QSM). It will manage the shelter on Queen Street and will cater for up to 120 people.

Ms. Wickliffe is urging other lawyers to help the city’s homeless on a pro-bono basis. Urgently required are specialists in employment, contract law, and public liability. If you can help, please email jo@jolaw.co.nz.